Survey any random homeowner and ask what characteristics they desire in their home, and you can be sure that an abundance of natural light will be near the top of the list. Man caves and crawl spaces aside, people love a bright, airy room with big windows that allow sunlight to pour in.

How can you increase the natural light inside your favorite rooms? You may be surprised at how easy it is to maximize the amount of sunlight coming through your windows.

Let the Sunlight Through Your Windows

In the quest to get more sunlight into a space, some homeowners assume they should automatically buy new windows for their house. Not so fast. While there are certainly a lot of benefits to installing new windows — such as energy efficiency and improved style — plenty of extra light can be brought in with a handful of relatively simple modifications. Try these steps to enhance your sunlight coming through the window:

1. Paint the walls a brighter color.

You won't achieve much natural light in a room that's painted a dark, muted color. Dark reds, deep blues, black, and brown absorb light, no matter how many windows are in the space. Lighter colors like white, cream, and gray reflect light and give the room a vibrant feel — more so if you use a satin or semi-gloss paint to increase the reflective properties. The same goes for backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms: lighter equals brighter. Another often overlooked element that has a big effect on the appearance of a room is the ceiling. If you paint it a few shades lighter than the walls, it will make the room feel brighter and larger.

2. Add mirrors to the walls.

Plenty of homeowners place mirrors strategically in a room to give the appearance of a bigger space, but such a reflective surface can also double the amount of sunlight that fills a room when it's hung across from a window. Other shiny home decorations like silver picture frames, furniture with chrome accents, and metallic light fixtures also reflect light around the room and brighten the space. A bright piece of artwork on the wall also does the trick.

3. Reupholster the furniture.

Just like the walls, the color of the big furniture pieces in a room matter when it comes to brightness and light. A chocolate brown couch absorbs light, whereas a white one will reflect it. Does that mean you need to shop for a new sectional? Not necessarily. Have you considered draping a cream-colored blanket or adding some lighter throw pillows? These are small touches that can make a big difference in the natural light within a space.

4. Wash the windows.

This isn't meant to be funny; when was the last time you cleaned your home's windows? The outside panes get the occasional wash during a rainstorm, but the inside surface slowly accumulates the grime of life. Don't believe us? Take some window cleaner (make sure it's approved for your particular type of window) and wipe down one window as a test run. Look at the cloth you used. Yep. Now find the time to do the rest, and set a semi-regular schedule to revisit that much-needed cleaning to keep that wonderful natural light filtering in.

5. Update your window treatments.

Dark, heavy drapes and curtains snatch natural light before it even gets a chance to dance across a room. Sheer, single-panel draperies and blinds are much better options when you prefer a light, airy room to a blackout, movie-theater experience.

6. Paint your overhangs white.

The eaves and overhangs of your home are great for protecting it from storm damage, but they can also inhibit the natural light that flows through a window. There's a trick of sorts: paint those eaves and overhangs white to maximize the reflection of sunlight. If you're afraid the white will clash with the exterior color of your house, don't be: Eaves are angled toward the house and can't be seen from the street. The only difference people will notice is how much brighter your interior has become. How you achieved that can be your secret to keep or share. (Disclaimer: color preferences are based on individual preferences. Many interior designers and painting companies also offer professional color consultations.)

7. Do a little landscaping.

Everyone loves a well-placed tree or bush, but overgrowth can hamper how much light enters through your windows. Consider trimming tree limbs, vines, and other greenery around the perimeter of your home to allow more light inside, or even replace aggressive shrubbery with low-lying flower gardens.

8. Install new windows and doors

If the above measures just don't quite cut it and you still want better light in your home, it may be time to buy new windows for your house. When you purchase upgraded windows and doors, you'll experience several benefits. Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl. This means they have thinner frames, providing more daylight and bigger views for sunlight lovers. Contemporary windows and doors are also safer, more energy-efficient, and easier to operate and clean.

Are you interested in looking at options for new windows that will let in more light? North Georgia Replacement Windows to ask questions, book a showroom appointment, or request a proposal.